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January 18 2013 Issue

Friday, January 18, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

CBP Warns of Refusal of Food from Foreign Food Facilities Not Registered with FDA

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued Jan. 16 a message warning importers to ensure that the foreign food facilities from which they import food into the U.S. are registered with the Food and Drug Administration.

The 2002 Bioterrorism Act requires all domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food, beverages, food ingredients, pet foods or dietary supplements for consumption in the United States to register as a food facility with the FDA. Section 102 of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act updated that law to require such registrations to be renewed between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 of each even-numbered year. The initial renewal deadline was Dec. 31, 2012, but in light of various circumstances the FDA is exercising enforcement discretion for late-filed renewals through Jan. 31 (click here for more information). Nevertheless, facilities are encouraged to renew their registrations as early as possible.

The FDA may suspend the registration number of any facility that fails to comply, resulting in a prohibition on the importation, distribution or sale of food from the suspended facility. CBP adds that beginning Feb. 1 if a foreign food facility fails to renew its registration, food from that facility that is being imported or offered for import into the U.S. could be held at the port or refused upon arrival into the U.S.

The FDA is therefore encouraging import filers who file prior notices for food shipments to contact clients with high-volume food shipments, inquire about the FSMA registration renewal status of foreign manufacturing facilities associated with their shipments, and confirm any new registration numbers. CBP states that doing so could greatly mitigate any prior notice shipment delays related to registration on or after Feb. 1. In the event of an import prior notice ABI transaction rejection indicating that the transmitted registration is invalidated, filers should contact the individual submitting the information and request updated registration information for correction. 

EPA Clarifies Requirements for Labeling Pesticide Products Intended for Export

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final rule revising its regulations on the labeling of pesticide products and devices intended solely for export. This rule requires those who transfer unregistered pesticide products between registered establishments operated by the same producer within the U.S. to be labeled with the statement “Not Registered for Use in the United States” if those products are intended solely for export at the time of such transfer. EPA notes that this is the identical labeling information already required before an unregistered pesticide product or device intended solely for export is in fact exported to another country. EPA believes this new requirement will result in safer and more appropriate handling and distribution of unregistered pesticide products and devices and will also help to prevent such goods intended solely for export from inadvertently entering the U.S. market. Compliance with this provision will be required as of Jan. 21, 2014. 

Dates and Deadlines: C-TPAT, Exporting Basics, Tariff Classification

Following are highlights of regulatory effective dates and deadlines and federal agency meetings coming up in the next week.

Jan. 21 – deadline for comments on request to reorganize and expand FTZ 171 in Texas

Jan. 21 – deadline for comments on public interest issues in potential Section 337 investigation of electronic device cases

Jan. 22 – ST&R webinar on C-TPAT Conference

Jan. 22 – deadline for comments on applications on FTZs in Puerto Rico and Texas

Jan. 23 – ST&R webinar on basics of exporting

Jan. 24 – USDA meeting in preparation for Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems

Jan. 24 – ST&R webinar on tariff classification for 2013

Jan. 25 – effective date of closure of Whitetail, Mont., port of entry

Jan. 25 – deadline for comments on proposed extension of information collections associated with safety standards on garage door operators, CB base station antennas, children’s sleepwear, electrically operated toys and children’s articles, and walk-behind power lawn mowers 

AD/CV Notices: Oil Country Tubular Goods, Preserved Mushrooms

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Oil country tubular goods.
Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Rescission of administrative review of antidumping duty order for the period May 1, 2011, through April 30, 2012, based on the withdrawal of the requests for review.
Details: The ITA will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to assess AD duties on all appropriate entries at rates equal to the cash deposit or bonding rate of estimated AD duties required at the time of entry or withdrawal from warehouse for consumption.

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Preserved mushrooms.
Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Preliminary rescission of new shipper review of antidumping duty order for the period Feb. 1, 2011, through Jan. 31, 2012, because Yingfeng Rare Fungus Corporation Ltd. did not satisfy the regulatory requirements for a new shipper review. 

Expanded FTZ Activity Approved in Two Locations, New Texas Subzone Sought

The Foreign-Trade Zones Board has received an application from the City of El Paso, grantee of FTZ 68, requesting special-purpose subzone status for the Expeditors International of Washington Inc. facilities in El Paso, Texas. No authorization for production activity has been requested at this time. Comments on this application are due no later than Feb. 27.

The FTZ Board has also approved (a) the establishment of subzone 61L at the Coamo Property & Investments LLC facility in Coamo, Puerto Rico, and (b) the production under zone procedures of pile drivers and leads, boring machinery, foundation construction equipment, and related parts and sub-assemblies at the Bauer Manufacturing Inc. facility within FTZ 265 Site 1 in Conroe, Texas. 

Potential IPR Probe of Bark Control Collars Evaluated for Public Interest Issues

The International Trade Commission is requesting comments no later than Jan. 28 on any public interest issues raised by a Section 337 intellectual property rights infringement complaint filed on behalf of Radio Systems Corporation against certain electronic bark control collars. Comments should address whether the issuance of exclusion orders and/or cease and desist orders pursuant to this complaint would affect the public health and welfare in the U.S., competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the U.S., or U.S. consumers. In particular, the ITC is interested in comments that:

- explain how the articles potentially subject to the orders are used in the U.S.;

- identify any public health, safety or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the potential orders;

- identify like or directly competitive articles that the complainant, its licensees or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

- indicate whether the complainant, the complainant’s licensees and/or third-party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested orders within a commercially reasonable time; and

- explain how the requested orders would impact U.S. consumers. 

DOT Notes Hazmat Special Permit Applications, Decisions, Delays in Processing

The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued the following concerning exceptions from the Hazardous Materials Regulations.

- a list of applications for special permits for exceptions from the HMR, including for motor vehicles, rail freight, cargo vessels, cargo aircraft and passenger-carrying aircraft (comments due no later than Feb. 19)

- a list of applications to modify previously issued special permits; e.g., to provide for additional hazardous materials, packaging design changes, additional mode of transportation, etc. (comments due no later than Feb. 1)

- a list of actions taken on special permit applications, including modified, new and emergency permits granted or withdrawn and permits denied

- a list of special permit applications that have been in process for 180 days or more, including the reason(s) for delay and the expected completion date 

Info Collections on FTZs, AD/CV Duty Relief, Cut Flowers, Fruit, Cattle Under Review

Comments on the proposed extension of the following information collections are being accepted through March 19.

FTZs. U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Application for Foreign-Trade Zone and/or Status Designation (CBP Forms 214, 214A, 214B and 214C) is used by companies that bring merchandise into an FTZ to register such admission and apply for the appropriate zone status. The Application for Foreign-Trade Zone Activity Permit (CBP Form 216) is used to request approval to manipulate, manufacture, exhibit or destroy merchandise in an FTZ.

AD/CV Duty Relief for Emergency Supplies. The International Trade Administration maintains procedures for written requests for permission to import supplies, such as food, clothing, and medical, surgical and construction equipment, for use in emergency relief work free of antidumping and countervailing duties. Such requests must include the AD and/or CV duty order case number, producer of the merchandise, detailed description of the merchandise, current Harmonized Tariff System number, price in the U.S., quantity, proposed date and port of entry, mode of transport, person for whose account the merchandise will be brought into the U.S., destination, use of the merchandise at the designated destination, and any additional information the person would like the ITA to consider.

Agricultural Imports. The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service allows imports of the following products under the conditions specified.

- Cut flowers from countries with chrysanthemum white rust must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate or equivalent documentation with an additional declaration stating that the place of production as well as the consignment have been inspected and found free of Puccinia horiana. In addition, box labels must identify the registered production site.

- Shipments of litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple and rambutan fruit from Thailand must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the fruit has been treated with irradiation in Thailand in accordance with the regulations and, in the case of litchi, that the fruit has been inspected and found free of Peronophythora litchi. In addition, cartons in which litchi and longans are packed must be stamped to indicate that the fruit must not be imported into or distributed in Florida.

- To ensure that cattle imported from Mexico are free of bovine tuberculosis APHIS requires information collection activities such as the Application for Import or in Transit Permit (VS Form 17-129) and the Declaration of Importation (VS Form 17-29). In addition, cattle must be accompanied by a health certificate and the application for the import permit must list the specific locations of all premises that the cattle to be imported have been on. Lastly, the regulations require tickicidal dip certification and certification regarding the tuberculosis history of the herd of origin for cattle destined for export to the United States. 

Foreign Regulatory Changes Could Affect Exports of Bicycles, Vehicles, Tires, Cables

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the World Trade Organization has been notified of regulatory changes that may affect exports of specific products to the following countries. For information on how these restrictions may affect your business, contact ST&R.

Brazil – amended conformity assessment procedures for components for adult bicycles

Saudi Arabia – standards on motor vehicles, small craft, motorcycle tires and vehicle belt drives (comments due by March 11)

Thailand – July 30, 2013, effective date for standards on sheathed and non-sheathed cables for fixed wiring and general purposes, flexible cables, and copper and copper alloys for general electrical purposes

Thailand – proposed amended standard on portland cement and mandatory standards for medical nitrous oxide and oxygen (comments due by March 11) 

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